The Roguelike genre has become increasingly more popular, and ArcRunner is no exception. ArcRunner is the newest Roguelike action game that offers a challenging but rewarding experience.
Fight, Die, Upgrade, Repeat
Trickjump Games Limited has partnered with PQube publishing company to bring us ArcRunner. ArcRunner is out on PC now, with expansion to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One coming soon.
Your mission is simple. The meta virus has infected the KORE, the AI at the spine of the space station in ArcRunners’ neon-drenched future. You are tasked with navigating through various levels to locate and reseat the KORE, before it horribly goes wrong. Humankind’s last hope is you, a rebellious machine. Although this seems relatively simple, of course, there is a catch. You are not the only person with a machine. The cybernetic units are there to stop you using any way they can.
Loading into the game, you are provided access to two different characters. The soldier and the ninja. Both characters offer unique abilities, and it is your choice to decide which is more suited for your game style. Is it the combat champions? Or the stealthy but lethal ninja? However, if you are good enough, a third choice is later unlocked in the game. This offers the player the chance to be able to hack their way through the levels.
Who will you be?
After your decision has been made, you are thrown into action. Enemies attack you wave after wave, with no mercy given. ArcRunner gives a diverse arsenal of firepower, found through killing enemies, supply crates or challenge rewards. If you are able to survive the waves, you are rewarded handsomely through the currency of Nanites. Nanites are the currency that will be found throughout a level and offers the player progression. If you survive the level, you are taken to the cryo chamber to enable a variety of improvements. These include increasing damage, HP, and weapon mod slots. They are permanent enhancements, that stay with you as long as you are alive.
Weapons are not your only friends in the game. It is important to be tactical about the way you approach each level. These machines will not go easy on you, and every little helps. Will you use your melee weapon, or perhaps a grenade? Going into the levels Rambo-esque will not help the player at all. You need to be tactical about your approach. Or, otherwise, you’re dead. Which means back to the beginning of the game you go.
Graphics & Audio
ArcRunner introduces the player to the game through a wonderful cinematic video. This highlights perfectly to the player how you have ended up on this mission, and why it is important. It sets the tone for the adventure that awaits. The maps used are brightly covered, with neon throughout all four game zones. This replicates the cyberpunk feel of the game perfectly, adding to the overall feeling of the game. However, it must be said that this theme carries on throughout each level. As you make your way through the game, this seems somewhat repetitive. The maps feel the same, however, flipped.
The music is seemingly fitting as well. Again, it transports you into the cyberpunk feel, drawing you into this world. But, it is rather repetitive. It seems that the same music is used throughout each level. Which could see it potentially lead it to be somewhat annoying.
Say Hello To My Little Friend
Fortunately, I am new to the PC ‘master race’, which means my PC is all shiny and new. I thankfully did not run into any issues in terms of frame rates or glitches. However, it must be said that with a bit of research, it seems there were issues for some users. However, in a quick fashion, as of the 2nd of May, these have been addressed. It can be stated that the developers of this game definately listen to their audience. Within a week they focused on improving their audience’s experience by patching some common bugs or glitches they were having. This is not something we always see.
ArcRunner offers four main game zones, with 7 randomly generated levels. These levels can last as long as you want to make them last. You can run in gun blazing, with death most likely awaiting you. Or you can take a more tactical and balanced approach, which sees you taking your time. In addition to this; this is a roguelike game. This means that once you die, you will be taken back to the start. And if you are like me, someone who went in guns blazing. Then you will find yourself back at the start more times than you can count.
The longevity of the game will also depend on if you are with friends or not. ArcRunner offers both single player modes and online modes. You are able to join forces with up to three friends and work your way to the KORE. I was able to experience briefly playing online with another person, which I believe was much more entertaining than playing solo. ArcRunner offers both private and open lobbies, which makes it easy if you are trying to only play with friends or if you’re open to finding new friends.
I recommend playing ArcRunner with friends rather than flying solo. As it genuinely increases your overall experience with the game.
Overall, I think ArcRunner is a solid addition to the roguelike genre of games. It offers a great multiplayer feature, which allows you to team up with friends and think about your movements tactically. However, if you don’t have someone to play with, I think that this would become repetitive quickly.
In addition to this, ArcRunner does offer some replayability. You have to think carefully about how you are going to address the level. Will this be tactically or Rambo-esque? Whatever you decide it is going to change the way the level pans out. Another feature which adds to the replayability of the game is the challenges. Each level comes with new challenges, and if you complete them, a handsome award will be waiting for you. This makes it beneficial to complete these challenges so that you can keep improving throughout the game.
ArcRunner is a game that groups of friends should try out if you run out of games to play. I don’t think you will regret it!
It is with all this in mind, that I will be awarding ArcRunner with the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.